It has been more than five years since the tragic Paramus bus crash occurred on Route 80, claiming the lives of a student and a teacher and causing injuries to several others. However, there is some good news as two of the cases related to the incident have finally been settled, resulting in a total payout of $19.5 million. Despite the passing of time, the memory of the incident remains poignant, and the settlements will hopefully provide some measure of comfort and closure for the affected families.
According to Bruce H. Nagel, the attorney representing the estate of Miranda Vargas, the 10-year-old who tragically lost her life, and Asher Majeed, the student who sustained severe injuries, there has been a settlement agreement reached between the Paramus School District and both families.
According to Nagel, the Vargas family is set to receive a sum of $7 million, while the Majeed family will receive $12.5 million.
On May 17, 2018, a group of students were en route to Waterloo Village when the bus driver, Hudy Muldrow, attempted an unlawful U-turn on Route 80. Muldrow confessed to missing an exit and maneuvered the bus across three lanes of traffic to reach an “official use only” crossover, resulting in a collision with a dump truck owned by Mendez Trucking. The force of the impact caused the bus to detach from its frame.
In December 2019, Muldrow accepted his guilt for reckless vehicular homicide, assault by auto, and child endangerment. The court sentenced him to 10 years in prison in 2020.
In a statement, Nagel expressed his satisfaction with the resolution of these two tragic cases that had been in litigation for many years.
Although progress has been made, there is still a considerable distance to cover, as several other children were also injured in the accident. Nagel is spearheading the legal proceedings for these cases and has indicated that approximately 15 lawsuits will be heard in Bergen. The objective is to establish the distribution of responsibility between the Paramus School District and Mendez Trucking.
According to Nagel, once the fault has been established, the litigation process will commence for awarding damages.
According to Paramus Schools Superintendent Sean Adams, these cases can be incredibly challenging for families and their children, and the school district is committed to providing them with ongoing support throughout the legal process.
Due to the pandemic, the court system faced significant disruptions, which caused a delay in resolving the lawsuits.
According to Nagel, the unresolved cases are expected to be presented at the Bergen County Courthouse in the coming months.